If your concrete has small pits that collect puddles and if it seems to be crumbling, then the mixture used to create the concrete mix contained too much water. “Spalling” is the professional jargon used to describe this event.
How do You Fix Spalling Concrete?
Concrete spalling is not the easiest do-it-yourself fix. If spalling is affecting your driveway, causing it to crack all the way through, then only a professional will be able to perform the repair.
However, if the damage is not that far along yet, the repair may be something you can do yourself. You may end up with a “good enough” level of quality doing it on your own, when a professional contractor could make the job look great. Ultimately, the choice is up to you, and if you decide to take on the job yourself, this is what you’ll need to do:
Before you even begin your concrete repair job, make sure air temperatures will remain above 50 degrees eight hours after you pour your concrete, and above 32 degrees for 24 hours after that.
To begin repairing your concrete, remove all dirt and debris. Use a broom to brush your concrete surface clean. Pull out any weeds in any of the cracks of your concrete, and remove any weeds nearby the edges.
Next, it is important to pressure wash your concrete in order to thoroughly remove as much dirt and debris as possible. Be sure to only work in one direction so the area becomes as clean as is possible.
Third, tape off any areas you don’t want your new concrete to touch. One example would be where your bottom step meets your concrete driveway. If you’re resurfacing indoor concrete, tape off the bottom three feet of your walls.
Fourth, mix your concrete. Be sure to only mix enough concrete that you can use in about 20 to 30 minutes. For the average person, this equals about one 40-pound bag, which covers about 35 square feet. Place the concrete powder in a wheelbarrow or cement mixer, and add water a little at a time until your concrete is equal in consistency to peanut butter.
Next, roll on a layer of bonding agent. Use two trowels, one to lean on with one hand while you work with the other hand. Trowel the concrete mixture evenly over the selected surface. Use the edge of the trowel to smooth the concrete’s surface. This is probably the most difficult part of the concrete restoration process, and the skills of a professional can make a noticeable difference at this point. While spreading the mixture, use any leftover concrete mix that is getting kind of hard to fill in any holes.
Before the first coat dries, add a second coat of concrete in the same way as the first. The purpose of the second coat is to give your concrete a more attractive and finished look. This time, however, instead of a peanut butter consistency, you’ll want to mix your concrete to a wetter consistency similar to pancake batter.
Before you apply your second coat, test out your mixture to ensure it is at the right consistency. Lay just a little down on your first coat, and run a concrete broom over it. If little balls form, the concrete is too dry. All you need to do is spray on a little water to dampen the first coat more.
Finally, drag your second mixture across the entire concrete surface using a concrete broom. Spray more water on if necessary. Finish applying this coat to the entire concrete area, and use a nose tool and cove tool to shape your steps, if you are working on them in this case.
If You’re Confused or Overwhelmed ask for the Help of a Professional
While you can certainly do this job repairing spalling concrete on your own, it takes less time and you’ll end up with the best product if you use the services of a professional concrete contractor.